Why Did You Choose to Become an Entrepreneur?
From being a beacon of hope for Autistic people to striving for an ideal balance, here are 13 answers to the question, “Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?”
- To Shine Hope for the Autism Community
- To Stop Living for the Weekend
- To Be Challenged
- To Follow My Passion and Do Something Useful
- To Fulfill Needing Constant Change
- To Destigmatize an Industry
- To Escape Corporate America
- To Amplify Creative Works and Projects With Community Impact
- To Flexibly Share My Skills and Help People
- To Bring Balance Back to My Life
- To Not Settle for Less than the Life I Want
- To Share Something Uniquely Mine With the World
- To Engage the Entrepreneur’s Freedom Trifecta
To Shine Hope for the Autism Community
When I was younger, my parents were told I wouldn’t be able to walk without braces or crutches. They were also told I wouldn’t be able to read higher than a second-grade level because I am Autistic. But that didn’t stop there; my parents were given a huge list of things I wouldn’t be able to do.
I have overcome nine ear surgeries, eight years of bullying, a school district’s failed attempt at special education, and I never had braces or crutches to help me walk. Furthermore, I am currently in college, reading and writing at a college level.
The reason why I became a motivational speaker and Autism advocate is that I wanted to shine hope for the Autism community. I also wanted to educate people about what it is like to be Autistic from my point of view. Everyone just focuses on the negative parts of Autism.
Sure, being Autistic is challenging, but what in life is not challenging? Getting help from insurance is hard, and managing my own business is challenging, but rewarding.
Jimmy Clare, Motivational Speaker, Autism Advocate, and Founder, CrazyFitnessGuy
To Stop Living for the Weekend
Basically, I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to stop living for the weekend. I had over a decade of experience doing what I love on the side—camping and writing about it—and it felt like the only way to truly live life on my own terms.
I get to spend more time with my family, I do what I love every day—it’s a win-win! It was only made possible by support from family and friends, hard work to lay a foundation before leaving my job, and using my day job as an opportunity to learn more about business.
Tory Jon, Owner and CEO, CamperFAQs
To Be Challenged
I was the kid who could get straight A’s while skipping class half the time. I went to school for pharmacy and passed with little effort.
Even working as a pharmacist was boring, to say the least. There was no challenge once you got the hang of things and all you had to do was read up on new drugs occasionally. Not to mention, your salary after 20 years was uncomfortably close to your salary as a new pharmacist.
Because of that, I was getting paid well but going crazy. But, as an entrepreneur, there’s no limit to the upside potential in terms of salary.
And, it’s the most challenging thing I’ve done. I love it.
I’m never done learning. If I become proficient in one aspect of the business, there are ten other aspects waiting for me.
Daniel Ndukwu, CMO and Co-Founder, DoxFlowy
To Follow My Passion and Do Something Useful
Entrepreneurship was more of a calling for me. I enjoy what I do. The idea was born after an unpleasant personal experience. I was in a situation where I couldn’t resolve my issue as a consumer.
So I had this service and product in mind that would provide a platform for consumers where they could freely voice their concerns and seek solutions. That’s what I went towards, and that’s how I became an entrepreneur. I just chose to provide extra service to the community that needed it. I found a niche that drove me to succeed and accomplish something in that niche. That was really to sacrifice my time and my efforts for that cause.
Michael Podolsky, Co-Founder and CEO, PissedConsumer.com
To Fulfill Needing Constant Change
I think anyone in the food industry is inherently rebellious, and regular cubicle jobs would kill us. That rebellious spirit is why so many cooks become entrepreneurs, be it through opening a restaurant or consulting or something creative like a blog. I do all three!
I became an entrepreneur because I need to do something new every day, and I must constantly be challenged in order to thrive. This mindset is a poor match for corporate life, but it is essential for entrepreneurship. So it ended up being a great fit!
Paul Kushner, CEO, My Bartender
To Destigmatize an Industry
I have been a cannabis consumer for many years and have always been frustrated by the false information surrounding it, so I became an entrepreneur to destigmatize my industry. There are many misconceptions about cannabis, as well as many old stereotypes that linger about who consumes cannabis and for what reasons.
Therefore, as an advocate for cannabis products, I was motivated to find new ways to provide accurate data, inform people of the benefits of its use, and challenge the false beliefs and stereotypes that are placed on those who use cannabis.
It was my frustration with these preconceived notions that made me want to challenge such outdated thinking, and I knew the best way to do so was to enter the industry, which is why I became an entrepreneur.
Mackenzie Whalen, Marketing Director, E1011 Labs
To Escape Corporate America
After 20 years of climbing the corporate ladder and achieving an office with a window, I discovered it wasn’t as cool as I had hoped. That’s why I quit it all to call my own shots and design my lifestyle around travel.
Now, I run my own business helping other business professionals achieve travel freedom while keeping their steady paychecks, using minimal (if any) PTO, and not waiting for retirement. I turned my passion for travel into a new career!
Kristie Sullivan, Founder, Executive Remote Worker
To Amplify Creative Works and Projects With Community Impact
There wasn’t a role that incorporated all the things that I loved, so I had to resort to having them as hobbies. However, I was so unhappy at my job that I quit without a plan or savings. I felt work should be a place that gets the most of my time and we all should spend time doing what we enjoy.
I started my PR and production company Artiste House after I realized how much I enjoyed amplifying the work of creatives and projects that directly impact my community. I would never have gotten the opportunity to lead such amazing projects while working for someone else, and I’m glad I took the jump.
Indya Wright, Founder, Artiste House
To Flexibly Share My Skills and Help People
I have IT skills and knowledge, specifically in blogging and marketing, which I used to assist aspiring bloggers in their journey when I first started in 2015. Because blogging and WordPress were less common and advanced in the past compared to today, I wanted to use my knowledge so they could achieve their goals more easily.
I began as a blogger and realized that there are many people who need help in blogging and other related areas. From then, I launched a separate website and company, TheWPX, dedicated to helping people in the same niche. As an entrepreneur, I am my own boss and can help people in whatever way and to whatever extent I want, all while making money.
Sunny Kumar, Founder and Marketing Specialist, TheWPX
To Bring Balance Back to My Life
To me, being an entrepreneur isn’t about building and scaling a massive company. That is one way to make a lot of money, but you also get lots of headaches and demands on your time. I became an entrepreneur to become a balanced person where I could work hard, be creative, be myself, and have more agency over my priorities and how I spend my time.
In 2018, I was frustrated by not having this type of balance in my life, so I built a side hustle while working full-time and engineered my exit from corporate work. Now I host a growing podcast and teach people how to explore their way to work alignment.
Michael Gardon, CEO and Founder, Career Cloud
To Not Settle for Less than the Life I Want
I became an entrepreneur because 24 more years in a windowless office wasn’t my plan. My coworkers were counting down the years until they could retire with their pensions and other benefits while staying late, skipping lunch, and squirreling away vacation days.
Meanwhile, as a neurodivergent person, I’d spent most of my life trying to make an office job work for me and found it simply didn’t.
Becoming an entrepreneur allowed me to do my best work and to do it in ways that worked for me. I designed offers that allowed me to show up for my clients, solve problems, collaborate, and create in new ways. I shifted my schedule to prioritize myself and those I love. And I now have a business that makes my industry more accessible to entrepreneurs like me.
Nicole Salvatore, SEO Copywriter and Content Optimization Strategist, Stay Stellar
To Share Something Uniquely Mine With the World
As a Stanford graduate and former educator, I left my career to scale my candle company because I love challenging myself and learning new things. Entrepreneurship has no cap on learning: there are always new skills to develop, new training to attend, and new opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone.
Being an entrepreneur is like being a lifelong learner on steroids. It’s a constant balancing act of maintaining a laser-sharp focus on what your business goals are while also being aware of new opportunities and transforming tools. The daily challenges are all in pursuing something uniquely mine that I get to share unabashedly with the world—that is why I became an entrepreneur.
Kate De Palma, Founder and CEO, Scented Designs
To Engage the Entrepreneur’s Freedom Trifecta
I became an entrepreneur when my twin daughters were five because I wanted more time with them. But, I have since realized—and coined a term—that what I really wanted was the Entrepreneur’s Freedom Trifecta, which puts my thriving at the center.
The Trifecta includes:
Time freedom — This is the ability to do what you need to do for your life, family, and business and still have time left over for rest, pleasure, and joy. This means being available for your loved ones but also being able to work on the creative projects you want to.
Pursuit of Meaning Freedom — This is the ability to do work that brings you most alive and to have the capacity and space to work on projects that light you up and bring meaning to your life.
Identity Freedom — This is the prerogative to show up as yourself and be yourself. When you can say what you believe and not worry about the fallout of losing a client, you are experiencing identity freedom.
Shawn Fink, Founder, Shawn Fink Strategies